Jack and the Pulpit

Jack and the Pulpit


Jack and the Pulpit

For many years, Jack was propelled by a burning desire to take on the Methodist church. He wasn’t just offended by the hypocrisy of it. He didn’t just despise the dogma. He hated that he lived in a country where he truly had freedom of speech and the pulpit, something he really wanted, was denied to him even if he was a homegrown genius, who simply sounded like he was divine.One to two large, glossy leaves, divided into three leaflets, rise on their own stems up to about 2 feet tall. The intriguing blossom of this woodland perennial occurs on a separate stalk at the same height as the leaves. It is a large, cylindrical, hooded flower, green in color with brown stripes. Distinctive "Jack-in-the-Pulpit" formation grows beneath large leaves. A cluster of bright red berries appears in late summer.


jack-in-the-pulpit, also called Indian Turnip, Bog Onion, Brown Dragon, or Starchwort, (species Arisaema triphyllum), a North American plant of the arum family (Araceae), noted for the unusual shape of its flower. The plant is native to wet woodlands and thickets from Nova Scotia to Minnesota and southward to Florida and Texas. It is a stoutish perennial, 1 to 2.5 feet (0.3 to 0.8 m) high, and usually bears two long-stalked, three-parted leaves that overshadow the flower. The latter consists of a conspicuous green- and purple-striped structure called a spathe, which rises on a separate stalk between the leaves. The flowering spathe curves in a hood over a club-shaped structure called a spadix, near the base of which are borne the plant’s minute flowers. The plant’s fruit ripens in late summer into a cluster of brilliant red berries. The jack-in-the-pulpit is one of the best-known wildflowers of the eastern United States and Canada during the late spring.

The Arum family (Araceae), of which it is a member, contains 27 genera and six other species within the genus Arisaema. All species -A. dracontium/ green dragon, A. speciosum/ cobra lily, / A. japonica/ Japanese arisaema, / A. heterophyllum/ A. tortuosum/ arisaema - possess the characteristic and exotic flower structures. Jack-in-the pulpit is pollinated by small flies and flowers from March through June depending on locale. The flower is an unusual green and maroon striped spathe surrounding a fleshy, maroon-colored spadix that bears the tiny, embedded flowers. The showy, bright red berries have the consistency of a ripe tomato, and are an attractive food source for birds such as thrushes, rodents, etc. Each berry contains 1 to 5 seeds and ripens in the fall. The unusual flowers, attractive 3-parted leaves, and showy fruits make this species an attractive addition to a shady native plant garden. (Source: www.fs.fed.us)



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